New York Times former Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal, who never met a Republican he couldn’t call a racist, made one of his sporadic appearances at nytimes.com on Wednesday with “Donald Trump’s Big Idea: Don’t Blame Me” when he casually linked Trump to two of the most notorious mass murders in recent history with the smarmy observation that Trump had been named Person of the Year by Time Magazine, “a distinction also given to...Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin – twice.” Classy! Rosenthal also insisted that Trump voters must take responsibility for Trump's racism, xenophobia, and lying.
Whatever kind of president Donald J. Trump turns out to be, he will surely be no Harry S. Truman. Instead of the sign that Truman kept on his desk declaring that “The Buck Stops Here,” Trump should get one that says, “Don’t Blame Me” -- embellished perhaps with the phony coat of arms he plastered on his Scottish golf course.
A month after he won the presidential election, Trump is happy to take credit for things he likes -- like the recent rebound in the stock market or the jobs that may be saved at that infamous Carrier plant thanks to millions of dollars the taxpayers of Indiana are going to pay.
But he’s also showing the world that he has no intention of taking responsibility for the hard stuff. Don’t blame Trump, he said on Wednesday, for the deep divisions in American society.
“I’m not president yet, so I didn’t do anything to divide,” Trump said in a phone call to the “Today” show. (He called in to gloat about being named TIME Magazine’s person of the year, a distinction also given to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Yuri Andropov, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin -- twice.)
In other words, it’s not Donald Trump’s fault that racists, sexists, homophobes and xenophobes found common cause with his campaign, or that the darkest forces of the American right felt emboldened to give him the Nazi salute at a recent Washington gathering.
It is a fact that the Trump campaign gave a platform to white supremacists. The only question is whether the Trump presidency will do the same.
Many Americans who voted for Trump may not consider themselves racist, but they cast a ballot for a candidate who espoused racism and xenophobia and told lie after lie without remorse. They have to take responsibility for their decision, and so do the people who choose to work for Trump.
In a show of bipartisanship, Rosenthal even blasted Al Gore as “looking like a fool” for daring to meet with Trump. (Something the conspiratorial Rosenthal is clearly not afraid of.)